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Nineteenth Century America

From The Archives: Lincoln’s Greatest Case–Sort of

One of the recurring themes this fall as we worked our way along the Great River Road, crossing the Mississippi back and forth between Iowa and Wisconsin was, in fact, the question of crossing the river.  We think of “bridge-building” as a metaphor for bringing communities together, but the construction of real-life bridges was often…

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Before Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll…

In Meredith Wilson’s 1957 hit musical The Music Man, con man Professor Harold Hill sings out about “ragtime, shameless music” as one of the pending disasters that threaten Riverside if the parents of the town don’t get their collective act together. It’s intended to be funny. In 1957, parents were facing new musical threats that…

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Road Trip Through History: Eureka Springs, Arkansas

If I were smarter, I’d have written this blog post last week and invited you to attend Books in Bloom, a literary festival in Eureka Springs at which I was a guest speaker on Sunday. Put on by the local library foundation, Books in Bloom is held the third Sunday in May and is a…

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